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Balvenie 12 vs Glenfarclas 12: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Balvenie 12 vs Glenfarclas 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Balvenie 12 DoubleWood

  • Nose: Ripe fruit, sherry, honey, vanilla.
  • Palate: Mixed nuts, citrus peel, vanilla, cinnamon, sherry.
  • Finish: Malty, oak spice, vanilla.

Balvenie 12 is quite aromatic as it delivers a strong scent rich in ripe fruit, sherry, along vanilla and honey.

On the palate, it provides a good mouthfeel as the body feels creamy. Flavor is has a hint of mixed nuts, along citrus peel, vanilla, a touch of cinnamon and sherry.

The finish has a good length, hitting with a bit of oak spice but nothing but nothing terrible, along vanilla.

Balvenie 12 has a nice nose, feels velvety, neither too sweet nor a sherry bomb, quite friendly and approachable.

It lacks complexity, yet provides good balance between sweet and spice along a satisfying finish with no alcohol burst.

This is the kind of whisky you drink neat although a splash of water will bring more oak and highlight the sweetness.

Overall, the Balvenie 12 is an unbelievably smooth dram and a pleasant experience for those who privilege smoothness and a not overly sweet taste.

Folks like me who prefer some harshness in their drinks will recognize its quality but will find it boring; like watching a French film.

Learn how it compares to the Balvenie 14!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this Scotch:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).
  • Balvenie Doublewood is aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then kept in Oloroso Sherry butts for 9 months before bottling. Oloroso is a dry and aromatic style of sherry wine made in Jerez, Spain recognized for its sweetness.
  • This whisky is crafted by Malt Master David Stewart MBE, the first man to age whisky in a wine barrel; that was back in the 80s.
  • Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Balvenie is a Speyside Whisky owned by William Grant & Sons who also hold Glenfiddich, Monkey Shoulder among several other brands.

Glenfarclas 12

  • Nose: Sherry, honey, toasted barley.
  • Palate: Banana bread, melted butter, vanilla, caramel, spice.
  • Finish: Lemon, oak spice, citrus zest.

The nose is quite pleasing as it has a high sherry aroma, followed by hints of honey, toasted barley and just a bit of alcohol, but nothing severe.

On the palate, Glenfarclas 12 feels creamy providing a nice mouthfeel. Flavor hits with banana bread, along melted butter, vanilla, caramel and a touch of oak spice bringing a light bitter note.

The finish is a bit short, with the oak spice hitting somewhat harder, along lemon and citrus zest and pleasing warmth on the way down.

Glenfarclas 12 is a good entry-level bottle to Sherried Whisky.

Glenfarclas has a classic whisky taste, light on the palate, not too sweet, not overly complex, with a short-lived finish, a bit spicy, and with a proper bite to remind you that you are drinking whisky.

It drinks better when adding a dash of water, as it releases more sweetness.

Overall, Glenfarclas is a solid mid-range 12 year single malt Scotch Whisky offering a pleasing dram and an introductory bottle to sherried Scotch. It makes a good sipper.

In 2006 it won ‘Best Sherried Whisky’ in the Single Malt World Cup which talks about how good Glenfarclas is.

Glenfarclas has been in business since 1791 and is one of the very few distilleries that remain fully independent as is still owned by the descendants of the founder.

Learn how it compares to the Macallan 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).
  • Aged for 12 years in oak casks used once for Oloroso sherry; this is sweet, full-bodied sherry wine from Spain.
  • This release was previously aged for 10 years.
  • Glenfarclas is a Speyside whisky, located in the northeast of Scotland surrounding the River Spey.
  • Glenfarclas still uses fire-direct distills as opposed to steam-filled unit heaters which has become the norm in the industry.
  • The six stills at Glenfarclas are the biggest in Speyside.

Balvenie 12 vs Glenfarclas 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Balvenie 12 DoubleWood$74
Glenfarclas 12$60

Balvenie 12 or Glenfarclas 12: which is better?

Balvenie is a smoother whisky

WhiskeyBalvenie 12Glenfarclas 12
  • The Balvenie 12 is a better dram for those that privilege smoothness over any other feature in a whisky. This whisky has no harshness, or off-putting notes making it incredibly easy to drink.
  • The Glenfarclas 12 is a better dram for those like me who like to get a bit of a bite out of their drams.
  • It offers nice and sweet tasting notes but the finish comes with pleasing warmth and an old-school whisky flavor.

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